I’ve been Shamu’s publicist at SeaWorld San Diego since 1998. As far as I’m concerned I have the best job in the park if not, the world! The best part of my job is traveling to the TV stations with the trainers and animals. I love the reaction we get at the hotels, airports, car rentals, etc. when they ask innocently enough what kind of animals we have and I say penguins. The expressions on their faces clearly indicate that was not the answer they were expecting and those expressions never get old.
Home was always filled with a variety of animals including horny toads, tarantulas, parakeets and the occasional stray dog or cat. Back then I never dreamed of working with animals, but little did I know zoos and aquariums were my destiny. I spent eight summers of my youth at my uncle's 4-H camp in Michigan learning to ride horseback and how to raise farm animals. Camp is also where I fell in love with pigs. I was amazed to discover you can teach a pig almost anything you can teach a dog. One of my most important accomplishments in life was training my pig Rover how to bark. Growing up in Los Angeles I used to get a lot of teasing from my school friends about my pig exploits, but I always knew my talent would lead to something special -- like a lifelong career in animal public relations.